Role Of Micronutrients In Fertility
Because fertility is a complex equation, and each persons body is different, the science around micronutrients and conception is still, shall we say, in its infancy.
That said, some promising studies have begun to shed light on the role of vitamins in getting and staying pregnant.
Vitamins play important roles in female health. Theyre essential for many functions, including:
- menstruation and ovulation
- immune function
- oocyte quality and maturation
So, adequate vitamin and mineral intake is critical when trying to create the right environment for a healthy pregnancy. Some nutrients may even reduce symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome , a common underlying cause of infertility.
Its important to remember, though, that more research is needed.
Weve broken down some of the most popular supplements for fertility, with the deets on their use, effectiveness, and dosage.
Who its for: Men and women
Claimed fertility benefit: Helps sperm motility contains antioxidants that promote healthy female reproductive system
When you think vitamins, acetyl L-carnitine may not be the first to spring to mind. But that doesnt mean it shouldnt be on your radar.
Give you energy
When Do You Need Extra Vitamin B9
- Those pregnant with twins, your doctor could have your take 1,000 mg daily
- Overweight women may need more than 400mg a day, ask your doctor before you become pregnant and before you take extra
- Those taking anti-seizure or diabetes meds may be told to take more daily
- If your developing baby has already developed an NTD, your doctor may have you take 4,000 mg daily
- If you have Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, a genetic mutation that makes it harder to produce folic acid in your body
It is important you understand all the prenatal vitamin limits when choosing your prenatal vitamins.
Supplements To Avoid While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
While the vitamins and supplements above are generally considered safe for pregnant and nursing mothers, certain plants and herbs can potentially be harmful while pregnant or breastfeeding. Thats why you must always let your doctor know about any supplements you take.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, avoid these plants and herbs while pregnant or breastfeeding:
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Is Vitamin E Safe To Use On Latex
Oil-based lubricants Avoid oil-based lubricants if you are using latex condoms, diaphragms or sex toys as they can break down the latex. Common oil-based lubricants: Vaseline and vitamin E oil. Silicone-based lubricants These lubricants are safe with latex condoms, diaphragms and non-silicone sex toys.
How Long Do You Have To Take Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy
Prenatal vitamins should be started approximately three months before attempting to conceive because the ovules begin to mature and grow three months before release.
Pregnant women should start consuming Folic acid one month before pregnancy. They should continue their consumption throughout pregnancy. They could consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily for at least a month before pregnancy and during the first trimester of pregnancy. In this way, it can decrease the risk of neural tube defects.If you are in the first days of pregnancy and still do not take vitamins, be sure to see your doctor.
Folic acid, also known as folate, is a B vitamin that is important for pregnant women. Folic acid may help prevent major birth defects of the fetuss brain and spine called neural tube defects .
Iron is used by your body to make the extra blood that you and your fetus need during pregnancy. Women who are not pregnant need 18 mg of iron per day. Pregnant women need more, 27 mg per day. This increased amount is found in most prenatal vitamins.
Calcium is a mineral that builds your fetuss bones and teeth. Women who are age 18 or younger need 1,300 mg of calcium per day. Women who are 19 or older need 1,000 mg per day.
Give you energy
Supply energy for your fetuss development
Promote good vision
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How Do I Know If Im At Risk Of Low Vitamin D
Low vitamin D can be a problem if you dont get enough sun exposure, or if your body struggles to make enough vitamin D. Youre more likely to have a deficiency if you:
- Spend most of your time inside
- Have very dark skin e.g. youre of African or South Asian origin
- Cover most of your skin when you go outside
If youre in any doubt at all about how much vitamin D to take, make sure you consult your GP or midwife.
Avoid High Doses Of Vitamins
Sometimes you can get too much of a good thing and this goes for vitamins. There are certain vitamins that can be toxic in high doses, so it is important to stay within the guidelines of recommended amounts. This includes:
- Vitamin A Too much vitamin A increases the risk of birth defects in your baby. While not harmful in the lower doses, it is toxic in larger amounts.
- Iron Iron can be toxic in large amounts. Unless your doctor prescribes more, stick to the amount in your daily vitamin or prenatal supplement.
- Calcium Going over 1,000mg Calcium a day is not recommended. It can cause kidney or other stones. Drink plenty of water with this supplement.
- Selenium Selenium can be toxic in large amounts. Never go over 200mg per day.
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What Supplements Do I Need In Pregnancy
A healthy, balanced diet will give you most of the vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy. Folic acid and vitamin D are so important for your baby, that you should take supplements to make sure you are getting enough.
There is no need to take any other vitamin and mineral supplements unless your GP prescribes them. Some women chose to take a pregnancy multivitamin, which is fine if you choose to do so.
Do not take vitamin A supplements, or any supplements containing vitamin A, as too much could harm your baby.
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How Much Folic Acid Do I Need When Im Trying To Conceive
The NHS recommends that you take 400 micrograms of folic acid each day when youre trying to get pregnant. You should keep taking this amount every day until youre 12 weeks pregnant. While youre taking folic acid, you should keep eating foods rich in folate as part of a balanced diet.
Some women who have an increased risk of birth defects will need a higher dose of folic acid, typically 5 milligrams . Your GP will tell you if you need this higher dose.
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Do Fertility Vitamins Work
First things first: Do these supplements actually work, or are we just taking a handful of tablets and hoping for a positive placebo effect?
A recent study in the journal Clinical Medical Insights: Womens Healthinvolved a thorough review of the literature around prenatal vitamins and minerals to ascertain their efficacy, focusing on developed countries like Australia, the US and Europe.
The authors explained that a significant amount of women experiencing fertility problems are usually deficient in a range of micronutrients and are often unaware of this.
In women who are diagnosed as infertile, lower than recommended levels of certain micronutrients have been reported. Women in industrialised countries often have lower than recommended levels of micronutrients .
Environmental conditions like pollution and stress alongside individual behaviours such as smoking add to these suboptimal conditions which can also affect fertility and may be leading to low pregnancy rates or pregnancy complications.
But theres good news. Their research found that micronutrient status is a modifiable factor that impacts female fertility â that is to say, taking supplements is something we can control.
The research suggests preconception dietary supplements can restore the micronutrient status to recommended levels, having a beneficial effect on fertility in both healthy and infertile women.
So the long and the short of it is yes, they do work!
Best Overall: Thorne Research Basic Prenatal
If youre looking for an excellent overall prenatal, Thornes Basic Prenatal is the top pick, particularly for its highly absorbable form of folate. Adequate intake of folate is known to support the healthy development of the fetuss organs and tissues. In addition, it is especially critical for the closure of the neural tube, which is the precursor to the brain and spinal cord.
Though many foods like cereal, bread, and grains are enriched with folic acid and other b vitamins, supplementation is still recommended for pregnant women, as their need for this nutrient becomes 50 percent higher.
It is recommended that women consume 600 micrograms of supplemental folic acid, in addition to the folate found in food. Thornes Basic Prenatal contains 1,000 micrograms of metabolically active folic acid283 percent of the recommended daily intake for folate. In addition, this prenatal is gluten-, dairy-, soy-, and artificial flavor-free.
Thornes facility is NSF- and cGMP-compliant and they rigorously test for 760 contaminants to verify the identity, potency, and purity of each ingredient listed on their product labels.
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Do I Need To Take Supplements
It’s recommended that all pregnant women in Australia take folic acid, iodine and vitamin D supplements.
Having a healthy diet is important and should provide you with the other nutrients you need. Check the Australian Dietary Guidelines for more advice. However, some pregnant women may need supplements of other nutrients besides folic acid, iodine and vitamin D.
If you have a known deficiency, your doctor might advise you to take a supplement. For example:
- if you are vegetarian or vegan and not getting enough vitamin B12
- if you don’t get enough calcium, which is vital for bone health, from dairy or other calcium-rich foods
- if you are low in iron
- if you may be low in omega-3 fatty acids, e.g. if you eat very little seafood
If you’re not sure whether you need a supplement, talk to your doctor.
Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Steady weight gain during pregnancy is normal and important for the health of you and your baby. However, it is also important not to gain too much weight.
Excess weight gain during pregnancy can increase your risk of certain health issues including gestational diabetes and high blood pressure in pregnancy. Excess weight gain can also make it difficult to lose weight after pregnancy.If you are pregnant, a good approach is to eat to satisfy your appetite, and continue to monitor your weight throughout pregnancy. You can talk to your Midwife, GP, Dietitian or Obstetrician about assisting you with monitoring your weight.Depending on your body mass index at the start of your pregnancy, the following weight gain is recommended during pregnancy:
|BMI at start of pregnancy||Recommended weight gain during pregnancy|
If you are overweight, pregnancy is not the time to start dieting or trying to lose weight. Weight gain within these ranges is important to support the growth and development of your baby.
To maintain an appropriate weight gain during pregnancy, it is important to:
- Choose healthy foods from the 5 food groups.
- Limit discretionary foods and drinks high in saturated fat, added sugars and added salt .
- Remain active during your pregnancy.
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Use Of Folic Acid During Pregnancy:
Folic acid is a vitamin that should be used routinely for every expectant mother. Folic acid is a member of the B vitamin group. Vitamin B9, vitamin Bc, folic acid, folacin, folacin are other names of folic acid.
Folic acid can be found in foods other than supplements. These foods are:
Green leafy vegetables,
- Sunflower seeds
It can be listed as the number of eggs.
However, it is not possible to meet the need for folic acid during pregnancy with foods. For this reason, it should be taken as a supplement.
The image used is for illustrative purposes. Definitely not recommended! All drugs, supplements and vitamins should be taken with the direction of your doctor !.. Multivitamins and Drugs During Pregnancy
What Vitamins Should Be Taken With Dilantin
Long term use of phenytoin can deplete your vitamin D levels leading to the potential for other problems. Vitamin D is one that we store, so you will have a reserve to last you at first. Eating foods that contain or are fortified with vitamin D, as well as getting plenty of sunshine is a good start.
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What Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Weight Gain
A vitamin D deficiency is unlikely to cause weight gain. However, it may cause other health problems or unpleasant symptoms, which are worth avoiding. You can maintain adequate vitamin D levels through a combination of limited sun exposure, a vitamin-D-rich diet, and taking vitamin D supplements.
Folic Acid Before And During Pregnancy
Its important to take a 400 micrograms folic acid tablet every day before you’re pregnant and until you’re 12 weeks pregnant.
Folic acid can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, including spina bifida.
If you did not take folic acid before you conceived, you should start as soon as you find out you’re pregnant.
Try to eat green leafy vegetables which contain folate and breakfast cereals and fat spreads with folic acid added to them.
It’s difficult to get the amount of folate recommended for a healthy pregnancy from food alone, which is why it’s important to take a folic acid supplement.
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What Happens If You Don’t Take Prenatal Vitamins In The First Trimester
What Happens If You Don’t Take Prenatal Vitamins? Taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy can help prevent miscarriages, defects, and preterm labor. If you’re not taking prenatal vitamins, neural tube defects can appear: Anencephaly: This occurs when the baby’s skull and brain doesn’t form correctly.
What Happens If Pregnant Women Don’t Take Prenatal Vitamins During Pregnancy
LFor women in developed countries who live above the poverty line and are able to invest in a high-quality, nutrient-dense diet, prenatal vitamins may not be as necessary as other women with fewer opportunities and limited access.
Not only do women need access to all the quality and varieties of food they will need, but they will also need access to information so they can adequately educate themselves. Additionally, access to quality medical care to navigate specific uncertainties and personal health questions is vital.
For women who lack information, quality medical care, and access to the quantities of quality food that theyll need throughout the pregnancy process, vitamins will be crucial. This need for prenatal vitamins is especially true of women who live in rural areas, below the poverty line, or in developing countries.
Beyond the conversation about access and resources, women who dont take prenatal vitamins may be at risk of an unsafe pregnancy, or they may place the baby in danger of congenital disabilities and a number of debilitating lifelong conditions, such as those mentioned previously.
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Where To Get Pregnancy Supplements
You can get supplements from pharmacies and supermarkets, or a GP may be able to prescribe them for you.
If you want to get your folic acid from a multivitamin tablet, make sure the tablet does not contain vitamin A .
You may be able to get free vitamins if you qualify for the Healthy Start scheme.
Find out more about the Healthy Start scheme.
Can You Take Prenatal Vitamins If Youre Not Pregnant
One of the top questions on a patients mind is: Can you take prenatal vitamins if youre not pregnant?
If youre planning to get pregnant you can start taking folic acid supplements. Half of the United States pregnancies are unplanned, so prenatals can protect your pregnancy from complications, as some defects can appear in the early stages of the pregnancy.
However, if you dont want to get pregnant, its best to follow a healthy diet and get the nutrients you need from food. Prenatals can cause adverse effects if you take more than you need to.
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Are There Any Side Effects Of Taking Prenatals While Not Pregnant
Generally speaking, the vitamins and nutrients included in prenatals wont cause detrimental side effects if they did, pregnant women wouldnt be encouraged to take them!
That said, prenatal vitamins do contain levels of nutrients specific to pregnant women, meaning they arent always the best choice for nonpregnant people on a long-term basis.
Your iron needs, for example, increase from 18 milligrams to 27 milligrams during pregnancy. While the short-term side effects of too much iron include mild GI upsets like constipation and nausea, over time that excess of nutrients could become more problematic.
Bottom line? If youre not pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you can hold off on prenatals until you really need them .